The Gomphotheres are a family of extinct proboscideans that were closely related to the modern day elephants. They were a diverse family, consisting of species with tusks on both upper and lower jaw, while later species had short jaws with either vestigial or no lower tusks. They probably behaved similar to modern day elephants, living in herds and feeding on vegetation like grasses, leaves and branches.
Distribution & Fossil evidence
The family was widespread and common and fossils have been found in North and South America, Eurasia and Africa. They eventually went extinct with the last species surviving deep into the Holocene epoch of South America.
There are several species of Gomphothere known to science, with probably the most famous one being Gomphotherium.